New Hampshire, USA — So far, the complaint by American wind tower manufacturers against their competition from Asia has mirrored the solar industry petition filed in October.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it would formally begin an investigation into lower-cost wind towers entering the U.S. market from China and Vietnam. The investigation could lead to significant tariffs that may ultimately lead to higher development costs in the U.S.
Much like China did after the U.S. officially began its solar trade investigation, government officials warned that a new wind energy probe would deepen the rift between the two nations over clean energy competition.
“This investigation will not only be harmful to the development of Sino-US new-energy cooperation; it will harm the interests of the U.S. industry, and is not in line with global efforts on climate change and energy security,” China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.
A preliminary ruling in the solar case is expected in mid-February. In the wind case, the U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to determine whether there is injury at some point in February and the DOC is expected to issue a preliminary determination by June.
IN THE NEWS
Manufacturing Top 10: Europe may be the big end-market for solar PV demand (at least for now), but from a manufacturing standpoint Asian firms are beginning to dominate. We take a look at the top 10 solar cell manufacturers in 3Q11 — a list dominated by Asian manufacturers.
India OK With China Solar Imports: The India government, eager to boost growth in its own manufacturing sector, says it has no objections to imports of low-priced Chinese solar panels as long as they meet prescribed quality standards.
18MW Solar Plant in China: JinkoSolar has announced that it has connected China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Development’s 18-MW PV power plant to China’s grid. The plant, located in Dunhuang, Gansu Province in west China
Not So Fast on Japan Projects: MEMC Electronic Materials Inc said it has not firmed up plans to build solar power plants in Japan because the government there has yet to determine a key solar subsidy. The company’s statement appeared to contradict comments by its unit SunEdison, which said earlier in the week that it would build 1,000 megawatts of solar power plants in Japan at a price tag of about $4.6 billion.
Goldwind Buys U.S. Wind Projects: Goldwind, a leading Chinese wind turbine maker, has acquired two 10-megawatt wind farms from Volkswind USA. The wind farms, known as the Musselshell Project, are based in Shawmut, Montana. This project marks Goldwind’s third acquisition in the United States, accompanied by a project in Pipestone, Minnesota, and the 109.5-MW Shady Oaks project in Lee County, Illinois.
China Biofuel Plant: Biofuels producer Algae.Tec has signed a deal to fund the construction of a facility in China that will produce a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. The plant will produce transport fuels derived from algae and is expected to generate about 33 million liters of transport oil per year.
India To End Wind Tax Break: India will discontinue a tax break for wind farms starting in April, the beginning of the financial year, potentially stalling growth in a $3 billion market dominated by turbine-supplier Suzlon Energy Ltd.
Waste to Biomass in India: Transforming agricultural waste into biofuel in India could meet up to 59 percent of the country’s demand for transport gasoline while creating up to one million jobs, according to a new study commissioned by enzyme company Novozymes.
FOCUS ON HYDRO
China’s Hydro Boom: China’s hydropower developers must “put ecology first” and pay strict attention to the impact of their projects on local rivers and communities, the country’s environment ministry said as the country embarks on another dam-building boom.
Hydro Politics in India: Politics over hydro projects on tributaries of river Ganga is heating up with former Indian Institute of Technology professor G D Aggarwal sitting on a fast-unto-death demanding scrapping of eight projects on these rivers. The environment ministry has already decided that no new projects would be approved on tributaries — Mandakani, Alakananda, Bhagirathi and Aasi Ganga — but the activists having support of various Hindu groups have demanded scrapping all on-going projects.
BY THE NUMBERS
356: Megawatts of solar capacity India added in 2011.
1,233: Megawatts of new solar capacity the country planned to install during that period.
17.8: Megawatts of solar capacity India had as of December of 2010.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Jan. 9-16, 2012 Asia Report: China, South Korea Leaders at World Energy Summit
Jan. 2-9, 2012 Asia Report: SolarWorld Plans to File European Complaint
Dec. 26, 2011 to Jan. 2, 2012 Asia Report: Wind Tower Trade Case Sparks New Questions
Dec. 12-19, 2011 Asia Report: China Takes Sharp Turn in Push for Solar Energy
Dec. 5-12, 2011 Asia Report: Two Views on Durban Deal
Nov. 28-Dec. 5, 2011 Asia Report: Mixed Signals Over Emissions
Nov. 21-28, 2011 Asia Report: China Strikes Back
Nov. 14-21, 2011 Asia Report: Solar Dispute Is Just Part of the Friction
Nov. 7-14, 2011 Asia Report: Fearing ‘Protectionism,’ China May Expand Domestic Market